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Manchester United train runs out of steam as Liverpool batter rivals 7-0 - as Gakpo and Weghorst highlight key contrast

Jonathan Fadugba

Manchester United had been on an extraordinary run of 12 games without defeat in recent months, but it meant nothing as old enemies Liverpool brought them back down to earth by absolutely destroying them 7-0.

Two goals from Cody Gakpo, two for Darwin Nunez, a Mo Salah brace and one from Roberto Firmino embarrassed Erik Ten Hag’s team and all but ended any slim hopes of a surprise Premier League title this season, as Liverpool ripped into the Red Devils. Defeat was United’s biggest since 1931, a generational trouncing that will not be forgotten in both cities any time soon. 

The win puts Liverpool firmly in the race for top four and a coveted UEFA Champions league place. In fact it probably makes them favourites for fourth ahead of both Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, who both dropped points this weekend. 


Jurgen Klopp described this weekend’s game between eternal arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester United as ‘worth more than three points’. This is a rivalry steeped in history and tradition, the two most successful sides in English football history with 39 league championship titles between them and countless other trophies. A contest between two north-western cities just 56 kilometres apart, immigrant cities who became key cornerstones of the industrial revolution – Liverpool a world-renowned port city and Manchester famous for its ‘Cottonopolis’, the first city of the industrial revolution. 

Casemiro had the ball in the back of the net with 41 minutes played but it was disallowed for offside before Liverpool went up the other end opened the scoring. Cody Gakpo got on the end of a well-worked move and made a fine finish past David De Gea. From there, Liverpool took their rival apart. 


Two quick goals in the 47th and 50th minute made it 3-0 and after Salah’s effort in the 66th minute three goals in the last 15 minutes completed the demolition, as ten Hag’s side completely fell apart.

Klopp had asked his team to be ‘aggressive’ and ‘wild in the right moments’ against United, a philosophy that has generally epitomised his Liverpool during his time and charge. And they heeded the call in rampant style. Gakpo looked sharp, Nunez a bundle of energy while Harvey Elliott put in one of his better performances in a Liverpool shirt with a brilliantly composed performance for a 19-year-old.

Going into this game United had not won at Anfield for 7 years and the last time the Red Devils travelled to Anfield it ended in one of the most chastening United defeats in the rivalry’s history (4-0), a dark day that rather summed up the drab Ralf Rangnick interim era.


This is a wholly different Manchester United team: blessed with far greater resilience, character and desire to win, but this game went one better, a 7-0 demolishing that will give ten Hag real cause for concern. 

United looked tired, lacking in energy and – bar a spell during the first half – slow. Like a team emotionally drained from a long few months winning ten out of 12 games, beating FC Barcelona over two legs and winning a first major trophy for six years. They seemed physically and mentally unable to go again after a huge few weeks emotionally, which is understandable to a point but not excusable to the point of losing 7-0 to a major rival.

The weaknesses in United’s squad were there to see. Key men like Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez were beneath their recent level. Meanwhile January signing Wout Weghorst struggled, failing to register a single shot. 


Weghorst has become something of a cult figure among United fans for his work rate and attitude, but he is also a symbol of the Glazer family’s austerity at key times when United need a boost. Contrast Weghorst, signed for a minor loan fee, to Cody Gakpo for example. Serious January investment (£40 million) from Liverpool on one of the top young talents at the recent World Cup vs a 30-year-old on loan with one goal to his name so far. Gakpo’s impact on this game was remarkable.

It is well documented that this particular Klopp team is coming to a natural end of its cycle. Sadio Mane has already departed, and earlier in the week news broke that another long servant  Roberto Firmino will be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season and has informed Klopp of his decision. 

With that in mind the Brazilian’s goal in the 88th minute was a cherry on the icing of Liverpool’s cake. Firmino has been a wonderful servant to Liverpool and received one of the biggest cheers of the night from a raucous Anfield crowd after tucking away the goal to make it a magnificent 7-0 for Reds fans.

Publicerad 2023-03-05 20:19


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